If anybody was going to make it, it seems they would have.
In 1965 Sonny sang, “I got flowers in the spring I got you to wear my ring.” And Cher warbled back, “And when I’m sad, you’re a clown. And if I get scared, you’re always around…”
Sony responded, “Then put your little hand in mine. There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb.”
“Babe, I got you babe. I got you babe.” (I Got You, Babe, Sony Bono, 1965)
Sure things? You would have bet on that one. Love. Some say 80 million record sales together. Television success.
Then ten years later it was all over. Don’t have you anymore babe.
I can’t help feeling sad when I read the words to Sony and Cher’s song. They had something good and they let it get away. Like millions of others.
It’s so easy to give up on our marriage; so easy to say to ourselves, “I can find what I’m looking for with someone else out there.” I’ve got bad news for you. The Lord doesn’t make any more perfect men. My wife got the last one. (Uh, don’t ask her about that please. She doesn’t know it).
You’ve got to fight for what you’re looking for in a marriage. You’ve got to work to make it work. You’ve got to let the Lord Jesus really be Lord in your couple.
But, it’s worth it. And how!
Phyllis and I celebrated 40 years of marriage recently. Here are a few observations from underneath my gray hair.
* At first I think I thought, “She’s sure lucky to have me.” Now it’s more like, “How in the world did she put up with me all these years?”
* Obey the Word of God practically. Often we “play church.” We figure that if we don’t smoke and we don’t chew and we don’t chase girls who do, we’re okay. Obeying the Word is a whole lot more than that. Read it then put it into play in your marriage by the power of the Spirit.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.Love never dies.”(1 Cor. 13:8-10, The Message)
Not a lot of divorces in a marriage where the partners strive to be like that.
* Seek help when you need it. We all need it sometimes.
* Save your fusses for something that’s really worth a fuss. Ninety nine per cent of our disputes are wasted energy. And it poisons the atmosphere of the home like a cheap cigar. Just hush.
* Some things must have a “heart to heart” to be resolved. For the important disagreements, speak to each other like adults not like five- year- old kids. Don’t fight in front of the kids. They probably won’t see you make up. You two are their security and their world shakes when they’re afraid you might divorce.
* LISTEN! Think about what the other one is saying. You already know what you believe. Try to understand what they are saying.
* Watch your tone of voice. Harshness kills love. Sarcasm kills love. Learn to close your mouth. You don’t always win just because you have the last word.
* Work at loving each other like a good gardener works at his garden. You don’t get prize sweet peas without assassinating a few snails. Which snails do you need to assassinate in yourself?
* Give up your way if there’s no underlying principle violated. For instance, going to the pizzeria instead of the Cracker Barrel is morally neutral. Go where she wants for a change–or where he wants.
* The decision to quit going to church isn’t morally neutral and violates an important principle of the Word. It puts the family in danger. Lying, cheating or stealing aren’t morally neutral. In those cases real love does what is right because our relationship with God infuses all our success in marriage.
* Work hard to put God as the center of your relationship. If you’re in right relationship with Him all your other relationships bloom. If not, you risk to smell something rotten in your dealings with those around you.
*You can only change one person in the couple–and it’s not him (or her). Change yourself and things are already 50% better.
“I got you, babe.”
If we’ve really got God first in our life and infuse His Word into all we do, we can live what we dreamed to live with that other person the day we got married.
“Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a caricatured view of even the best-known ones. Every religion at its core is exclusive.” Ravi Zacharias